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Public Discussion
Following the slide show presentation, the public offered the following comments:

  • Vision emphasizes design, but should be balanced with environmental protection.
  • Emphasis on landscaping, setbacks and buffers is good; we aren’t able to stop development but we can hide it.
  • No mention of public transportation planning or public transit or interest in reducing the reliance on the automobile. Need to educate people about the importance of taking fewer trips in cars; there is a lack of public transportation including needs of young people to be able to get around.
  • People want to protect rural character; public transit is contrary to preserving rural character. So are “centers.” You cannot have it both ways.
  • By encouraging higher density development, we are increasing the volume of cars on our highways; relying on the builder’s remedy results in higher density developments.
  • Vision comes across as encouraging high-density development.
  • Has anyone calculated the average lot size envisioned in the Vision Statement?
  • Vision Statement emphasizes design and site issues and villages; hope this is balanced with environmental protection, which should be a huge component.
  • Vision is good; to bring it to reality need to state what HCPB will do to assist municipalities to achieve the vision.
  • How can municipal planning boards encourage good design? Is it legal?
  • To what extent have municipal planning boards been involved in the Smart Growth planning process?
  • Consider holding an all-day forum for local officials on a Saturday; be more assertive in encouraging their participation.
  • Surprised by negative response to survey question related to water quality.
  • The vision gives the impression that we are encouraging development to become towns like Westfield and Green Brook.
  • You can get a good handle on design control by establishing historic districts.
  • Concerned about perceived vesting in existing zoning that makes changing existing zoning very difficult; with highway commercial zoning you need to deal with equity.
  • Perplexing that 70% of survey respondents support funding open space preservation but fewer are concerned about water quality; the public needs to be educated on water quality issues.
  • How do you supply water and sewer to small lot developments? Need to consider the economy of scale and the burdensome DEP regulations.
  • How do you reconcile the CPB’s Vision Statement with Freeholder policy, specifically relating to bridges?
  • Did the survey ask peoples preference for homes on large lots?
  • The Vision Statement should include a mention of the importance of agriculture in the County’s past and its significance statewide; also address the pursuit of arts and bike trails.
  • What can the County do to assist in the provision of affordable housing? Is there a role for the County to provide the infrastructure to make it economically feasible?
  • Clustered development does not equal affordable housing. Unit cost is still the same.
  • Smaller lot sizes do not necessarily result in cheaper homes; has any consideration been given to limiting the size of houses?
  • Some municipalities give density bonuses to encourage clustering.
  • Encourage reuse of obsolete buildings on farmsteads.
  • Should County encourage builders to reduce impervious surface?
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Provided by planning@co.hunterdon.nj.us on April 14, 2005.